I spent most my morning watching one video after another on decluttering, organizing, downsizing, minimalism, etc. I was greatly encouraged, because one of my personal desires is to live a life of simplicity.
You see, I hate clutter! It causes stress, frustration, anxiety, and depression. When it becomes unmanageable, it’s actually managing you.
I’m several steps ahead of that though. I currently have three rooms in our home stripped down to the barest of necessities, making them the most desired rooms in which to spend one’s time. The rooms are inviting, welcoming, and emanate comfort and serenity.
Imagine attaining the same results from spending time decluttering our minds! Have you ever really paid attention to your thoughts? Do you ever feel guilty about certain situations in your past? Do you find yourself becoming anxious because of troubling current events or headlines? Or are you struggling with just getting through today? Let’s briefly look at the three areas to which our thoughts like to roam.
Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. How many of us are stuck in past regrets? Why? The bottom line is you can’t change what did or didn’t happen. You can only learn from your mistakes, make peace with them, forgive yourself, forgive others, and move on.
The Old Testament recounts story after story of the failures and sin of regular people like you and me. These accounts were saved for us in the Bible to serve as examples from which we can learn.
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
Ever play the “What if . . .” game? “What if I lose my job?” “What if I can’t pay my mortgage?” “What if my car breaks down?” “What if my spouse dies?” What if? What if? What if?
Sure, anything is possible. But the Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
The Bible also says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
When our minds are parked in the present, what do we spend time thinking about? Are our thoughts pleasant? Are they neutral? Or are they negative, immoral, and destructive?
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) exhorts us to meditate on the positive:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Envision the difference it would make in your life to meditate on these things rather than on all the negative, discouraging, and bleak pieces of information that come to you from all directions.
I challenge you to give it a try. Spend a couple of minutes early in the morning meditating on whatever is right. Spend a few minutes before bedtime pondering on whatever is lovely. Think about things that are praiseworthy during the last few minutes of your lunch break.
Keep a journal noting your thoughts and the feelings you experience as a result. Try it daily for three weeks and let me know how it improved your life.
PRAYER: Lord, I ask for your strength and grace to learn from the past, to look forward to the future with hope, and to live joyfully in the present. Amen.